Players and team officials with Vancouver Dragons celebrate their Minor League Basketball Association championship Sunday (July 8) in the gym at Panorama Ridge Secondary school in Surrey. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

VIDEO: Dragons win ‘for Raph’ in basketball championship on Surrey court where teen played

In Sunday’s final, local minor pro team beat Oklahoma City squad at Panorama Ridge Secondary gym

A Surrey-based minor pro basketball team won a league championship for Newton teen Raphael Alcoreza on Sunday afternoon (July 8).

Vancouver Dragons were victorious in the final game of the Minor League Basketball Association’s inaugural season in the gym at Panorama Ridge Secondary, where Alcoreza played basketball until his death late last year.

Alcoreza, a six-foot-one guard with the school’s Thunder team, died in hospital Dec. 7 after collapsing during a game at Holy Cross Regional High School the previous week.

“We said at the start of the season that we were playing for Raph, and that’s what we did, we won it for him today,” head coach Dikran Zabunyan said following his squad’s 111-107 win over Oklahoma City Outlaws in Sunday’s championship game.

• RELATED STORY: Surrey athlete sought to enjoy ‘life to the fullest to see what the world has in store for me,’ from December 2017.

Around 100 spectators watched the final, which followed a pair of semifinal games played Saturday (July 7).

Zabunyan praised his players as a talented, hard-working and dedicated group, led in scoring Sunday by guard Demitri Harris, who had 24 points in the entertaining, back-and-forth final.

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO)

The Outlaws dressed only six players for the game, and the Dragons outpaced them with 12.

“We wore them down, and they got tired,” Zabunyan noted.

The Dragons won the MLBA championship trophy in the league’s first year of existence, and boasted a record of 12 wins and one loss heading into the Final Four playoff weekend at the school in Newton.

They suffered their only loss of the season against Quad City Flames back on May 26.

The Dragons began their season at Trinity Western University’s David E. Enarson Centre but later moved to Tamanawis Secondary’s gym due to scheduling conflicts.

Team owners want to build and operate a basketball-focused stadium/complex in Surrey. Next season, they plan to return to Tamanawis for home games, majority owner T.J. Dhinsa told the Now-Leader on Sunday.

• READ MORE: Idea for Surrey stadium bounced by Vancouver Dragons basketball team, from June.

The two other teams in the MLBA’s weekend playoff were Arkansas Bobcats and Huntsville Force.

To reach the final, the Dragons bounced the Bobcats on Saturday by a score of 120-88.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Supportive housing opponent says 110-year-old document should prevent development

Proposed site for Cloverdale project is on land gifted to city by Joseph Shannon in 1908

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner bids farewell in tearful State of City Address

Outgoing mayor announces Director of Housing, looks back at Surrey’s evolution, and pokes fun at her ‘media missteps’

Tenants fighting ‘renovictions’ at Cloverdale apartment building

Renters at Kolumbia Garden are hoping to stop eviction notices

Surrey wants BNSF to slow Crescent trains

Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read